How to teach someone to use social media

Social media is fast becoming a staple of our everyday lives. But, while using social media is something that many of us take for granted (especially us Gen Y-ers who grew up on a diet of Facebook and Twitter) what about the less computer savvy amongst us?

Volunteering with Net2Camb

Earlier this year, I began volunteering with Net2Camb - a branch of the global NetSquared movement. Here, we teach people, with very little, or sometimes no social media knowledge, how to get online at Net2Camb's monthly social media surgeries.

These free outreach sessions, which take place at Cambridge Online, are designed to help people get connected, take control of their social presence and make social media work for them and their particular needs.

The experience I’ve gained here has also taught me a few things about how best to teach others (be they friends, family members or work colleagues) how to use social media. Here are my five tips.

1.    Find out which platform’s best for them 

Often, people feel they should be on Facebook or Twitter simply because it seems like that’s what everyone else is doing. 

So, whilst the mum who wants to keep in touch with her friends and family may think that Twitter's the way forward (as she's heard her kids talking about it) in fact, she'd be best signing up for Facebook instead.

That way, she'll be able to send her family members messages, view their photos and find even more friends through her former school's fan page.

2.    Suss out their particular user needs

Once you’ve identified which platform(s) would work best for them, you then need to find out how they want to use their platform of choice.

By identifying exactly what they'll be using social media for, you're better able to tailor your teachings, as opposed to bombarding (and scaring) them with information overload.

3.    Show them the basics

It seems like a pretty simple step, but it’s easy to go off track when teaching others about social media.

Start off slowly, offering them for instance a quick introduction to the main Twitter tabs or key Pinterest functions. 

Take things a step at a time. There's no point telling them everything they could possibly ever want to know about social media in one go. How are they going to remember it all?! Save some information back to share with them next time round.

4.    Step away from the mouse! 

When teaching someone how to use social media, it’s tempting to just sit in front of the screen and whiz through the basics with the mouse firmly in your hand.

One of the best ways to learn though is to get stuck in and have a go yourself - so step away from that screen! Plus, by watching them working independently you'll be able to flag up any mistakes as and when they crop up.

5.    Don’t forget your homework! 

Depending on how often you’ll see your social media pupil you may want to set them a few fun tasks to do before the next time you catch up. 

So, whether it’s getting your gran to add five of her friends on Facebook or setting your friend the task of completing their LinkedIn profile, be sure to give them something to work towards.

Need help with your social media?

Of course, if you or your business need help managing your social media accounts, content strategy, or training to help you boost your online presence, we here at Sookio HQ are always happy to help! Go on, get in touch with us today at